Tag Archives: abandon

Helpless

15 Mar

The tide recedes
each time
a bit further
taking with it a little pain
and a little strength

When the sun is out
it warms my face
On my palms
it tingles
and I sigh
relief

I hear the birds sing again
the sky, a gorgeous hue of blue
beauty everywhere
fresh air
never tastes sweeter
sharp
full of promise

I want to run
but not away
towards something, someone, somewhere
Clearly defined

peace

I smile
wide and free
show my teeth even
and giggle endlessly

Self love
the color of my skin
the way it shimmers in the sun
the shape of my body
the softness of my lips
in harmony with my strength

I feel
and more importantly
I Want
to feel

A day, a week, or a month goes by
and I wake up
feeling strange
unsettled

Heaviness sets
my thoughts pained
a cold sweat
as the memories take hold

Alone
the quiet scares me
as it creeps in
the lack of sound

In a fog
everything hurts
my mind lays
Dormant
withdrawn

Those muted days
I don’t wish on anyone

Sadness fills me
at the thought of
Wasted youth
in a frenzy to feel nothing
to fade

Release the gray days
for the clear blue days
learn to feel again
Not so
helpless

Runaway

18 Dec

Oh I try to stay away
in my own quiet darkness
I plot 
To runaway

It’s too good
Too kind
Too normal to be real

Isn’t it sad?

I can’t accept that I deserve this
Or at the very least 
Accept that I don’t deserve
constant pain

It’s all so very bleak inside
The cobwebs that linger in the corner
They remind me of those years

Clinging to me
They refuse to disappear

It’s all so hideous
So very sad

Don’t you see?
Isn’t it clear?
Runaway

Let me be
So much easier to bear this pain
Neatly tucked behind the smile of a promise
That the year end is near

Year after Year
The end is near

Why don’t you just
Runaway?

 

Little Things

14 Jun

Your little hands are folded over your plump short legs, your feet flat on the ground; you sit on the concrete steps outside our room with your inquisitive face tilted up towards the sky. Your eyes stare off into the distance, past the rusted chicken wire thrown on the ground, past the tree that bends against the neighbor’s chain link fence, past the abandoned cars left on the hillside… Past all the decay that dominates our view- what do your little eyes see?

The sizzle of the hot oil in the pan makes you turn and your chubby cheeks ride high on your face as you smile at me when you catch my eye. I throw another taquito de papa into the pan and you giggle at the hiss that follows. You stand and smooth over your pink, orange, and white polka dot sun dress and steady yourself against the doorway as you lift your small leg over the entrance.

“Mami? Esta bien?” I look down at you and see your concerned face. How can an infant know that something is wrong? You have only been on this earth for a few months and you have been able to pick up on the sadness that hangs from my face.

“Claro que estoy bien mi amor.”

“Comer mami?” I motion for you to stay away from the stove but quickly lift you up in my arms when I see your eyes sadden. You point at the taquitos inside the pan, and inhale the delicious smell of the tortilla, quezo fresco and papas being fried.

I hold you tight in my arms and kiss you; trying to erase any of my sadness that has touched you.

“Lets rub noses! Like the Eskimoses!” You smile and kiss my cheek as I sit you down to eat on your highchair.

I stretch my aching back and look around at the small room: the sofa and kitchen table three feet from each other, the refrigerator, stove, and your high chair competing for the remaining scarce space, and down to my swelling belly that grows with impatience.

Holiday Cooking – I get you Mami

12 Nov

I checked the rice for the third time; adjusting the oven so it would encourage each grain to soak up the broth and form a fluffy pillow ready to pop into my mouth.

I moved in a fluid motion around my kitchen as I chopped the garlic cloves, red onions, sweet and spicy bell peppers, then heard their sizzling song as I tossed them into the pan over the fire. The nacho toppings were done, the beans were boiling in a soft murmur, and the sangria! Ay the sangria.

Here I am, a modern strong-headed woman, following in your footsteps.

I used to look at you, confused and angry as I saw your figure bent over the oven, the stove, and the table – furiously stirring, chopping, and tasting your feast that would feed the entire extended family.

I was angry that you let them put all the cooking on you; annoyed that you didn’t see that they were taking advantage of you. I wanted you to say, “Basta! You will make your own meals and host your own parties, and leave the heaping mess of beer bottles and discarded bones in your own backyard.” But every year you would cook a turkey, your famous costillas, mashed potatoes, gravy, ham, rice, beans, the list would go on and on.

But I never heard them say thank you and I was pissed, in a way that only teenagers can be. I hated that you had to come home from your longs hours on your feet as a cook, only to be welcomed by the heat of your kitchen, your work never done, only stopping in the wee hours of the night. Only to wake up at 5 to get to work. Why? Porque ama?

Yet here I am, running around buying all of the supplies, ingredients, and necessities for the party – in the metro no less, just to see my chiquitas smile…

You confuse me in so many ways yet I love you so much. I can’t bring myself to be truly angry at you; I try by recalling all of the pain you gave me to inherit – but it’s a farza. I love you mami.

Everything you have done, you thought you were doing for us. Whether I agree with the steps you took along the away or not- my heart still beats thanks to you.

The girls aren’t spoiled with material things but sometimes I wonder if I smother them with all of the things I want to do for them.

Will they know mami? Will they know how much I love them, how my whole body swells with pride and joy at the mere thought of them.

As I grow up and see my friends around me; I understand you a little more. I don’t condone what you did but I get it. I have so many friends that grew up like me: short on love and full of need.

As they became young mothers some of them took all of the emptiness from their childhood and filled it with the love for their own offspring. Their children, like my own, saved them. They were done looking for love in loveless sex, booze, packets of powder, and needles.

But a lot of them grew up and turned into their mothers: slapping their kids around to unload their fury at life, becoming self-obsessed with self-pity, and abandoning their kids emotionally while they continued their search for the right elixir that will dull their pain. They are stuck in childhood, arrested emotionally and erratically lashing out in anger.

No one was there to hold your hand when you were left alone to care for your siblings. I can’t imagine how lonely and scared you must have been. You had no one but strangers to turn to when the migra came to the factories where you pulled double shifts before you could even be called a young woman. So alone, so full of pain; I never realized just how strong you really are.

I need to tell you how I feel. I wish I could take you in my arms and cradle you in them, guarding you from harm – the way your parents were unable to do for you. That’s what I do with my own girls, I express feelings I was unable to express with anyone else. You and dad grew up in fragmented harsh realities; you did the best you could and I thank you. Thank you for showing me what strength and resilience is, even when I had to use it around you both – thank you.

Escape to College

10 Nov

“You have to write an essay about college and what you think you need to get into one.” Mr. Escobar was writing furiously on the board. There were three columns ‘community college’, ‘cal state school’, and ‘UC’s’. “What about private schools Mister?” “What do you know about private schools Lorena?” “Like Harvard and Yale or Georgetown, what if we plan on going to a private school?” “Don’t worry about private schools, you can’t afford them. Focus on high school before you get married.”

I drowned him out and started thinking about what the requirements were to get into each school system. The library at school didn’t have anything about colleges, it didn’t seem to get used either. Instead of walking home I headed over to Malabar library and started pulling out the college prep books. An hour later I ran home with essay in hand.

Shit… As I got closer I could already feel his daggers sinking into my skin. My tio was standing by the gate with a beer in hand, blocking the entrance. Beer cans were all over the front garden and steps. Mi Apa was leaning on the fence with his head back beer to his lips. He gulped it down and before he could squeeze it and throw it aside, my tio handed him another Bud Light.
I hated it when they drank in front of the house. That’s why I never invited anyone over, why couldn’t they drink in the back?

“Hola tio. Hola papi.” “Saluda a tu tio bien, ven para aca.” I walked back and gave my uncle a quick hug, trying to mask my disgust.

“Donde estabas?” “En la biblioteca, tenia que escribir-” “Ve ayudale a tu madre!”

I ran up the stairs and went inside. My mother was in the kitchen heating up the food cursing my uncle for making my father drink, as if he had to be persuaded! She looked up just as I walked by. “Where were you?!” “I went to the library. I had homework.” “Get the table ready and take off your uniform.”

I cleaned the table, took out the salsa and started warming up tortillas. “Go call your father to dinner.”

“Papi, ya esta la cena. Papi, ya esta servido sus platos.” “Huhhh. Hmmm!”

All he could fucking do after so many beers was grunt like a stupid animal.

As they finally pulled themselves away from their beer they sauntered over to the table. I tried to sneak back into my room but my uncle pulled my arm and told me to sit next to him. I hated that fucking smell. He placed his arm around me and asked me about school.

“Para que tienes que ir a la bibliotheca? Aqui tienes todo lo que necesitas para hacer tu tarea.” My dad pointed to his head.
“Pero no tenemos computadora para el internet papi.” “No necesitas internet, cuando yo era nino yo aprendi todo mientras que trabajaba en las cosechas.”

Always going on about he was so smart in school and how he learned everything faster and how he had to do it all while he worked in the farm and missed four months of school during the crop season. He could never say anything good about me, neither one of them. If Mexico was so fucking great, what were we doing here? Why hadn’t he gone beyond the 3rd grade?

“Que Buena esta la comida Maria.” “Gracias Jorge.”

“Esta mierda? Si no vas a cocinar bien, ya te dije que no cocines!”

“Yeah whatever.” My mom got up to clear her dish. “Can’t even talk with your stupid crooked mouth. You look so ugly when you‘re drunk.”

My father got up, grabbed his hot plate and threw it at my mom, beans and hot pieces of meat flying all over my mother’s face.
“Pinche babosa! Callate la boca!”

My father’s eyes were opened wide full of rage. They seemed to change color when he snapped, his bloodshot eyes bulging out and his eye brows two angry lines cut into his face.

I got up and stood between them. I started to clean up and I could see him swaying over me unsure of what to do before he walked to his bedroom and slammed the door so hard that the veneer cracked.

My tio got up and muttered an apology before he scurried off.

My mother started crying uncontrollably about what a miserable asshole he was so I led my younger siblings into their room.

“It’s okay mom. He doesn’t deserve you. You deserve so much better. Just ignore him, he’s drunk.”

“Why does he always have to call me names? I told him so many times to not call me stupid! He’s stupid, he couldn’t live without me. When I leave then who’s stupid!”

“Mami, we CAN leave. We can live in an apartment and we would do all of the cooking and cleaning. You could go back to school and take computer classes and you could get an office job like you wanted. If you got a divorce we would go with you and help you mami. We don’t need the house and we could be happy.”

When she looked at me I knew that I had gone too far. She would never leave him. She would never be able to walk out the door.

“I stay with him for you guys. For my kids, that’s why I stay. So you can have a family and have a better life.”

“Yes mami, I know. I love you. Do you want to sleep in my bed? I can sleep on the sofa.”

I finished cleaning the dishes as she went off to my bed and I felt a huge lump of guilt bobbing up and down on my throat. What if he heard me? I should have known. She would never leave.

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